“Vol. Kieran Nugent – the first blanketman. ‘I’m not a criminal – the Brits will have to nail prison clothes to my back.'”
This mural was originally launched in February surrounded by a selection of posters from the era (see The First Blanketman and for close-ups see the post at Extramural). These have all now been stripped away and the red background (which was present for the previous mural – see Ciarán Nugent) has been repainted.
There are a couple of interesting elements in this 30th anniversary hunger strikers mural in the Bogside. The frame is formed by chains (as seen previously on the Bobby Sands mural in Belfast) rather than knot-work, the names of Frank Stagg and Michael Gaughan are mixed into the list (rather than appearing together at the beginning or end), both the lark and the dove are included, and – most unusual and possibly unique – is the Irish translation of Bobby Sands’s saying “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children”: Bainfear ár ndíoltas amach leis an gháire dár bpáistí. (And, as a super-extra bonus, the Irish has been – correctly – painted without tittles.)
“Derry remembers 1980-1981 hunger strikes. Rededication of mural 20th August 2011 on the 30th anniversary of Óglach Mickey Devine.”
In addition to three plaques, a wrought-iron head-piece, multiple flag-pole holders and railings fencing in a small area, this mural in Clós Ard An Lao/Ardilea Close in Ardoyne uses painted discs for each of the twelve hunger strikers (the ten in Long Kesh 1981 and two from the 70s in English prisons, Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg – the twelve also featured in Derry’s Spirit Of Freedom mural), rather than painting their likenesses directly onto the wall. The two quotes are from Bobby Sands “Let our revenge by the laughter of our children” and Michael Gaughan “Let there be no bitterness on my behalf to achieve a united Ireland”.
The items above the mural are new, compared to 2010. The plaque on the left is to people who died “in defence of the area” and on the right to those who died “of natural causes” who endured discrimination, hardship, suffering, imprisonment.
IRA prisoner Kieran Nugent is reputed to have said – upon being imprison after the removal of Special Category status in 1976 – “I’m not a criminal – the Brits will have to nail prison clothes to my back.” The mural is a February repainting of Ciarán Nugent and for the launch it was surrounded with posters from the period. Rockville Street, Belfast.
“Wear an Easter lily – i gcuimhne ar an stailc ocrais.” The title phrase and the lily are typically used in calls to remember the rebels of 1916 (see e.g. the mural this one replaces) but here it is (also) employed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike. The lark is a symbol of political prisoners, the green ribbon was used in the campaign to free them as part of the Agreement; the watchtowers of Long Kesh/Maze are shown. Mural in Beechmount Ave/Ascaill Ard na bhFeá
The dove/lark on a fist (seen in 2007 but missing in 2008) is restored to the crossbar of the hunger strikers memorial in Rossville Street, Derry. Kevin Lynch’s portrait is displayed around the time of his death on August first, 1981.
2009 image of the hunger strikers metalwork on the site of the former RUC barracks. The background wall has been repainted in plain white; previously it was painted as a sky with clouds (see 2006 and 2008).